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Apr 22, 2022 / 09:25

Vietnam, India to boost cooperation in tourism and trade

Quang Ninh, home to UNESCO world heritage site Ha Long Bay, will host the annual International Yoga Day in Vietnam.

Tourism is another key issue included in the agenda of Speaker Om Birla of India’s Lok Sabha (the parliament lower house) during his Vietnam visit which concluded on April 21.Birla discussed further cooperation in tourism with Nguyen Xuan Ky, Party Secretary of Quang Ninh Province, which is home to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the world’s few natural wonders.

 Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the world’s few natural wonders. Photo:

They talked about efforts to remove barriers and measures to facilitate the entry and stay of Indian visitors to Vietnam in general and the locality in particular. 

Accordingly, the local authorities will work with the Embassy of India in Hanoi to hold the International Yoga Day 2022 and make Quang Ninh the annual host of the International Yoga Day, which is one of the activities expected to help lure visitors from the country of 1.3 billion people.

In addition, Om Birla suggested Quang Ninh consider twinning with some Indian states to promote people-to-people diplomacy in association with tourism development.

Authorities of Quang Ninh and India were also talking about the opening of direct flights between India and Quang Ninh’s Van Don Airport, a move that aims to increase travel between Vietnam and India, once the two countries recognize each other's vaccine passports.

According to Quang Ninh’s leaders, the province, which connects Vietnam and ASEAN and Northeast Asia countries, is a good destination for investors for being home to good infrastructure, many economic zones, and industrial parks. It expects to draw India’s investment inflows for information technology, hi-tech pharmaceuticals, culture, and the creative entertainment industry.

In addition to Quang Ninh, Om Birla also visited Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s business hub.

 Speaker Om Birla of India’s Lok Sabha and General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong in Hanoi on April 20. Photo: VNA

Visit of strategic cooperation

During his visit to Vietnam, Om Birla met Vietnamese top leaders including General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, and Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue to discuss various aspects of bilateral relations and issues of mutual concerns.

The discussions conveyed a message that Vietnam is an important pillar of India’s Indo-Pacific vision. India and Vietnam have a long tradition of comprehensive strategic cooperation, especially cooperation at international forums, including the United Nations Security Council.

Vietnam is one of India’s closest allies and an important partner in the country’s Act-East policy and Indo-Pacific vision, said Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla said at the meeting with CPV General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong on April 20. 

At talks, Birla urged the Vietnamese leaders to further strengthen the defense ties with India and also stressed the shared vision of both countries in the defense sector, Indian media reported. He also noted the important role of the defense partnership between both countries in contributing to the peace, security, and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.

The defense ties, according to him, are growing in areas like the military industry, maritime security, capacity-building programs, and UN peacekeeping.

Notably, Om Birla also hailed the long-term and mutually beneficial partnership between India and Vietnam in the energy sector, ANI reported. Expressing hope that the ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) contract will be extended for 15 more years, Om Birla mentioned OVL has been operating in Vietnam and involved in offshore power projects for more than three decades. 

The visit reflects the continuous strengthening of India-Vietnam relations, marking the launch of new air services and enabling both sides to pursue recovery plans and enhanced cooperation in trade and investment, climate change, and sustainable development for the multi-faceted cooperation in the years to come.